Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hotter 'N Hell 2010

This year at Hotter 'N Hell at Wichita Falls Texas we were met by excellent weather and 14,000 cyclists. With a predicted high of 94 a lot of cyclists decided this was the time to try a century ride. Two of our group who had been training all summer thought this might be their year. I must admit I toyed with the idea, but after much consideration I had to admit I was not strong enough this year to try for it and signed up for 100K instead. The 100K is a very good ride and a good choice.

With a such a huge number of participants there were some traffic problems at the start, including a few serious accidents. Bicycle traffic backed up, and rest areas were overwhelmed. This huge line of people is waiting for the line of portapotties in the distance. Volunteers filled the bottles of riders waiting in line so there would be less delay in getting back on the road and the drinks tent would not be too backed up. I think it might be time to revisit the question of how many potties are required. All of the rest areas were overwhelmed this year on the 100K course.

Everyone in our group finished their chosen rides, and it was a great day. Most of us were pretty tired by the end of the day and I was certainly no exception. I was so happy not to have anything I had to do at the end of the evening it was hard to get up and toddle off to bed. Lots more pictures over at my Flickr gallery (link on the sidebar), and congrats to everyone, especially our century riders!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A (kind of) Lazy Weekend

Shana and I planned a lazy weekend. We both felt like we had long and hard weeks, so we made few plans for the weekend.

I met for breakfast with friends at the excellent Classen Grill to discuss plans for Hotter 'N Hell 100 which happens next weekend in Wichita Falls. After the ride we have a community barbecue in the motel parking lot. This has proved to be more fun and less stressful than trying to get in at any restaurant in town. Although the menu is always much the same it's always a good idea to try not to have eight mustards and no onions.

I rode out to El Reno this morning with Alan and Melissa (Sharon Jean joined us for the first ten miles or so but could not commit enough time to ride all the way today). On the way we saw a fountain full of soapy suds in a fountain - probably someone's idea of a joke. We encountered the big piece of farm machinery on the way out and also on the way back. It nearly filled the road, but when we saw it in action later in a field it did not look nearly as monstrous.

Melissa nearly got tangled up in a dog on the way back. We heard a tiny rustling in the grass and the dog was nearly on her back wheel before we even saw him. Never barked, never growled: just ran at her. He did not pursue further and we hustled up a bit to get out of his range. I think that's a dog we need to watch out for.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things Don't Turn Out The Way You Plan

The kids joined me for dinner last night and Notorious V. I. V. was disagreeably surprised to find out that ice cream would not be served until "everyone" had eaten some of their actual dinner. She's generally pretty agreeable, so I see very little tantrum action. Apparently Meatloaf has no charms compared to purple ice cream. I could agree with that, as the purple ice cream in question was just delicious. This recipe - very simple, rather low fat, and a beautiful rich shade of purple thanks to some gorgeous blackberries
we bought at a farm last month. Vivian and had lots of fun later building birthday cakes out of blocks and dancing around. The kids introduced me to Ninja Warrior: mesmerizing reality TV (no, really) and we had a good visit.

My ride at Spin Your Wheels this year was not what I had hoped. Due to high temperatures (113° on the road) and imperfect preparation on my part for what I knew would be dangerously high temperatures I sagged in with leg cramp after 52 miles. After arriving at the finish in the sag wagon I had some doubts over whether I had sagged in too soon. When I was unable to get up from sitting on the grass without pulling myself up on a tent post because of a violent and painful cramp in my thigh I was able to put that doubt aside. I have two weeks before Hotter N Hell to get ready to do better.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Redneck Water Park

The most interesting thing seen today on our ride:
this redneck water park, AKA Slide in the River! I'm pretty sure on a not day this is Big Fun!

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Queen of Cat Town

One night this week while I was out molesting and annoying the ducks at Lake Overholser I could not help but notice a cluster of those hollow plastic rocks people buy to hide utility meters and stuff in their yards. At first only one caught my eye and I thought it might be some mechanical item that maintenance crews wanted to disguise. Then I noticed there were lots of them. Then I saw a cat food bowl and all became clear. It's Cat Town.
The "rocks" all have openings near the bottom and are apparently supplying condos for homeless cats. I hope this is part of a catch, spay and release program.

The ducks are not that interested in my company, I am sorry to say. Neither are the denizens of Cat Town. That does not keep me from trying to creep up on them as a handy way to put off getting on my bicycle and peddling off into the wind in 103 degree temperatures.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Turtle Buddies

Everyone needs a little push now and then.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Would a Smarter Car Make Me Happier?

Maybe not, but this Smart Car with the happy face on the front sure made me smile today!

I had a good ride before the day heated up too much, then came home and cleaned up the bikes. What a gross mess I was by the time I got to the shower!

I got my iPhone this weekend, so I've spent several hours getting my contact list back on the phone, and synching my online presence up with my phone. Have access to Evernote, Facebook, Delicious, and my Google docs and calendar will make it pretty easy to keep track of everything once I know what I'm doing. I no longer have access to any of my personal stuff at any time at work (mainly in an attempt to keep malware and viruses off the company servers), which made it harder to keep all of the balls in the air at once.